Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Most Wanted Benz Ever!

"One for all and all for one"

"Four Seasons Vehicle"

"Prospective buyers of luxury will definitely make this their shortlist"

Like any passing year in life, traveling by plane is as similar to traveling by car, at least for me. But when it comes to Canada, my second home country, I got excited to pay a visit there after being away for 6 years. The city chosen was Toronto, located in Ontario Province and not Montreal, Quebec where I used to live. Toronto was the chosen city of the Germans to hose the all new Mercedes-Benz S-Class’ first drive. Why is that? China is the biggest market for the S-Class, and Toronto is the number one city that gathers the biggest and richest Chinese community outside of China. True fact!

Driving Impressions
As with every generation before it, we expect the new S-Class to set standards across the board to retain its accolade as "the best automobile in the world". Indeed, it is for the time being, but when the all-new BMW 7-Series is revealed then the serious talking will take place!

The new S-Class has integrated all Maybach technologies and luxury.

Assistance systems

  • DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot
  • BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus
  • Night View Assist Plus
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • 360° Camera
  • Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC
  • PRE-SAFE PLUS
  • PRE-SAFE Brake with Pedestrian Recognition and City Braking Function

Safety

  • Seat Belt Buckle Extender (Active Seat Belt Buckle)
  • Adaptive Airbag System (Active Vent)
  • Beltbag for Outer Rear Seats
  • PRE-SAFE Impulse

Sound

  • Frontbass
  • Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound system

Chassis and Suspension

  • MAGIC BODY CONTROL
  • AIRMATIC with Continuously Adaptive Damping System

Drive System

  • Hybrid for Diesel Engines

Telematics

  • COMAND Online (NTG 5)
  • Individual Entertainment System in Rear
  • Mercedes-Benz COMAND Control App for the iPhone

Luggage Compartment

  • HANDS-FREE ACCESS

Seating Comfort

  • First-Class Rear Suite (incl. thermo cup holders)
  • EASY ADJUST Luxury Head Restraints (folding and removable 
    on front passenger side)
  • Luxury Head Restraints
  • Executive Seat on Front Passenger Side with Thigh Support
  • ENERGIZING Massage Function
  • Climate Seats/Reverse Flow Seat Cooling
  • Front Passenger Seat with Chauffeur Position

Climatic comfort

  • Perfuming
  • Ionization
  • Heating for Armrests (Panel Heating)
  • Pre-entry Climate Control for Hybrids

Sight and Light

  • First Vehicle to use only LED Illumination
  • MAGIC VISION CONTROL
  • Ambience Lighting (extended choice of 7 colors)

Exterior
People all over the world recognize a Mercedes-Benz straight away. The classic Mercedes’ face runs like a golden thread through the brand's history. "The sophisticated design of the S-Class has always been an expression of luxury and automotive grandeur of its era. And our new S-Class continues this tradition. With its classic architecture and flowing silhouette, it is a modern embodiment of sensual clarity. The design draws a line from the sophisticated, progressive design idiom to the classic elegance of our 1930s cars - intelligence that speaks to the emotions. Stylish sportiness and sensual forms in synthesis with timeless clarity and effortless superiority make the S-Class a true design icon," says Design Chief Gorden Wagener.

To underline the effortless superiority of the new S-Class and its ambition to lead, the radiator grille is now larger, upright and distinctly three-dimensional in design. With its long bonnet, the flowing, domed roof line and the gently slanting rear end, the new S-Class has classic saloon proportions. The size and space have been fashioned in such a way that the S-Class appears prestigious and the powerful roof line is also in keeping with the car's sporty coupe-style intentions.

A character line descending discreetly from front to rear - the brand's hallmark "Dropping Line" - elegantly structures the side wall and generates additional dynamism even when the car is at a standstill. The subtly created convex-concave effect of the entire flank gives rise to an extremely powerful and elongated car body that demonstrates both excitement and calm. The pronounced shoulder above the rear wheel adds further emphasis to the car's athletic character.

The positively exaggerated surfaces and lines of the side wall on the new S-Class generate excitement as they flow into the rear end. As well as being elegant, the slightly slanting form has aerodynamic advantages. Horizontal lines running from the boot lid to the bumper emphasize the car's width when viewed from the rear. The hallmark signature of the Mercedes-Benz designers can also be seen in the rear windscreen, which cuts into the C-pillars. The pane is rounded in its upper part, lending the vehicle a coupe-like aspect. The real highlights are the new-style tail lights which are completely encased by the car body and, thanks to this integrated styling and meticulously crafted inner workings, complete the design right down to the last detail.

For the first time in the history of the S-Class, the development focus was on the long wheelbase saloon. Unlike before, the short wheelbase version was derived from this. This is because the S-Class is firmly positioned as a prestige saloon not only in the large overseas markets such as the USA, China or Japan. Whereas in Europe and North America, the owner of an S-Class is frequently behind the wheel himself, the flagship model in the Mercedes-Benz passenger car portfolio is very definitely a chauffeur driven vehicle in Asia. The logical consequence is the number of new features specifically related to comfort and safety in the rear - in the S-Class, there is no doubt that passengers in the rear are also seated in first class.

The occupants of the new S-Class benefit from the moderate increase in vehicle size by an improvement in all the interior dimensions: there are 12 millimeter more maximum headroom for the driver, as well as 14 millimeters more shoulder room and 10 millimeters more elbow room in the front. Travel becomes even more comfortable for passengers in the rear. Shoulder room in the rear has been improved by up to 9 millimeters.

Interior
Immediately when you jump inside the cockpit of the S-Class, you will notice its clear architecture; its interior design embodies a classic, superior, cutting-edge saloon. The interior's expressive character derives from a uniquely fluid, sensuously elegant style. Horizontal elements and lines create a setting characterized by visual breadth and calm solidity. High quality and elegance harmonize with clarity and functionality: the interior design of the S-Class combines’ rides comfort, spaciousness and user-friendliness to the very highest standard.

The perfectly coordinated use of materials and colors produces an exclusive interior seemingly cast from a single mold. There is generous use of wood trim, especially in the dashboard and center console. Metalized switch surfaces with pearl-effect paint finishes in three color shades to suit the interior color particularly highlight the outstanding quality.

Passengers in the rear are also seated in first class - the design and exclusivity of the seats, door panels and all controls are to the same high standard as the front. As an additional individualization feature, the first class rear suite incorporates a business center console combining personal comfort with practical convenience (integration of a telephone handset, additional stowage compartments, folding table, etc.).

1) New Command Center
Two high-resolution TFT color displays in 8:3 formats with a screen diagonal of 30.7 cm (12.3 inches) form the new information center in the S-Class. The left-hand display performs the functions of the previous instrument cluster, providing the driver with all relevant information. The right-hand display allows the convenient control of infotainment and comfort functions. For the new S-Class, the constantly increasing need to integrate additional functions into the vehicle led to a further development of the entire operating logic. Here, ergonomics, operating convenience and safety along with attractiveness and aesthetics were the main considerations.

The aim in designing the control and display features was to group controls and display functions together in a coherent manner in terms of both design and functionality. Apart from the new displays, the metallized switch surfaces and solid aluminum controls are visual highlights of particularly high quality. Thanks to the fine structuring on the metal surfaces, each individual control has the sound, feel and attention to detail that makes a Mercedes-Benz so special.

The new control features include a touch-sensitive telephone keypad and an extended favorites function with twelve freely selectable memory places. The principal control element is the rotary pushbutton, with the usual direct access keys in the center console for the most important functions and a toolbar for the driving assistance systems

Voice entry using LINGUATRONIC via the Speech Dialog System allows complete addresses to be spoken in one go, for example (one-shot input). The telephone and audio systems can also be voice-controlled. The option of having text messages (SMS) or emails read out is a new feature.

2) Climate Control
During the systematic further development of the entire climate control system, a particular focus was placed on the development goals of performance, air quality, precise regulation, noise level and efficiency.

As a new feature, the AIR-BALANCE package comprises perfuming, ionization and even more efficient filtration compared with the standard model. THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control in the rear has two additional zones to improve thermal comfort. Electric heating of the armrests is a completely new feature.

As a world first, the new S-Class Saloon has a perfuming system as part of the AIR-BALANCE package. The perfuming system is switched on and off manually, with manual adjustment of the intensity. The perfume atomization system individualizes the smell of the vehicle interior. It neither changes the interior smell permanently, nor are perfume molecules deposited on fabric surfaces or clothing. The fragrance is discreet and mild, and dissipates rapidly.

3) Seats
With numerous world firsts such as the ENERGIZING massage function based on the hot-stone principle or active seat ventilation with reversing fans, Mercedes-Benz has raised seating and climatic comfort in the S-Class to a new level. The seat developers have paid particular attention to the rear seats. There is a choice of five different rear seat variants including an executive seat with a backrest angle adjustable by up to 43.5 degrees, allowing occupants in the rear to concentrate on work or relax in comfort.

The ENERGIZING massage function on the hot-stone principle is a world first. The seat specialists at Mercedes-Benz have developed a unique massage function with 14 separately actuated air cushions in the backrest, as well as an integrated warming function. There is a choice of six massage programs, two of them using the warming function. The function is also available for the rear seats.

For the first time, so-called reversing fans are used in the active seat ventilation system. When the ventilation function starts, cooler surrounding air is first drawn onto the seat surface. This enables the surface temperature of a heated-up seat to be reduced much faster than with the previous active cooling systems. After four minutes the fans are automatically switched to blower mode to reduce draughts.

Two rear seat variants (static bench seat or individual seats with 37 degree adjustment) are available for the standard wheelbase S-Class, and no less than five for the long wheelbase version. The adjustment kinematics have been changed in the luxury and reclining seat variants. Unlike the conventional trailing backrest design, the backrest is adjusted separately so that the legroom and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be separately adjusted for angle and horizontal position.

The maximum backrest angle of the executive seat (reclining seat) behind the front passenger seat in the long wheelbase model is increased from 37 to 43.5 degrees, giving it the largest backrest inclination in the luxury segment. The reclining seat features a calf support which is freely adjustable for length and angle. In combination with the heel rest on the folding chauffeur seat at the front and an additional comfort cushion, this allows a reclined position that sets new standards in the automotive sector with respect to sleeping and resting comfort

If the first class rear suite is specified (with rear center console), the front console on the transmission tunnel is visually continued to the rear. It is equipped with innovative thermo cup holders which use Peltier technology to cool or warm drinks over a longer period of time. Like an aircraft seat, the center console is available with two tables which can be easily folded in or out using one hand.

4) Multimedia Features
A completely new multimedia generation with intuitive operation and particularly tangible functions thanks to visualization and animations celebrates its debut in the S-Class. Other innovations include the multi-user system, which allows independent access to the media sources of the entertainment system from any seat.

The innovative Frontbass system developed by Mercedes-Benz and used for the first time in a saloon car is a feature common to all the audio systems: the woofers are housed in the firewall, and use the almost 40 liter space in the cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber. Conventional woofers in the doors are therefore unnecessary. The mid-range speakers in the doors are relocated upwards. This improves the soundscape and allows additional stowage space in the doors.

As alternatives to the standard sound system with ten loudspeakers, two very high-quality audio systems are available which were developed together with the high-end audio specialist Burmester: the Burmester Surround Sound system and the Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound system.

The interactive presentation of content is a prominent new feature of the navigation function. The new navitainment functions include an animated compass, the "Driveshow" for passenger information as in an aircraft, and the display of Google Maps on the head unit and in the rear. Information on the traffic situation is shown with hatched lines (rather than with vehicle silhouettes as before). With the new Live Traffic Information service, traffic data are transmitted in real time. As a result, the navigation system is better informed about the situation on the roads.

Drivetrain
In its first year, the new S-Class line up features two hybrid versions, petrol model and a diesel variant: S 400 HYBRID, S 500, S 350 BlueTEC and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. All models boast class-leading efficiency and up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro 6 emissions standard. In addition to this, the S 400 HYBRID and S 350 BlueTEC meet the strict criteria of efficiency class A, while the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID even has an A+ rating. Soon the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID will be introduced - the first S-Class with fuel consumption lower than 4 liters per 100 kilometers. The S-Class line up therefore includes the full range from petrol and diesel models to petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids for the first time.

Features

Extended PRE-SAFE Protection

Ten years ago, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a groundbreaking safety concept in the S-Class in the form of the PRE-SAFE anticipatory occupant protection system, which has been undergoing continuous refinement ever since. Now, the safety pioneer is increasing protection levels once again.

The new PRE-SAFE functions can help to prevent collisions with pedestrians and vehicles in front in city traffic, defuse dangerous situations caused by traffic behind and enhance the protection offered by the seat belts.

• PRE-SAFE Brake can also detect pedestrians and initiate autonomous braking to avoid a collision at speeds up to 50 km/h.

• PRE-SAFE PLUS can recognize an imminent rear-end collision and warn the following traffic by activating the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the stationary vehicle's brakes and thus minimize the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by the impact. This can additionally reduce the risk of secondary accidents. Immediately before impact, the PRE-SAFE anticipatory occupant protection measures, especially the reversible belt tensioners, are deployed.

•With PRE-SAFE Impulse, the driver and front passenger are pulled away from the direction of impact by their seat belts at an early phase of the crash before the resulting occupant deceleration sets in. This can substantially reduce the risk and severity of injuries in a frontal collision.

Mercedes-Benz has extended the safety system for rear seat passengers further with the seat belt buckle extender, the beltbag and the cushionbag. The first two of these developments are included in the PRE-SAFE rear package. With the illuminated seat belt buckle extender, an electric motor extends and retracts the belt buckle automatically. In this way, any belt slack in the area of the pelvis and thorax can be reduced so that passengers are secured more firmly in both the sideways and the lengthways direction.

The beltbag is an inflatable seat belt strap that is able to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by lessening the strain placed on the ribcage. The optional executive seat is equipped with a cushionbag under the seat cushion upholstery as standard. When the seat is reclined, it prevents the occupant from sliding beneath the seat belt (so-called submarining) in an accident. This has enabled Mercedes-Benz to design a comfortable reclining seat which provides a higher level of accident safety than a seat with a trailing backrest.

Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive

Avoid accidents and mitigate their consequences - this is the integrated approach adopted by Mercedes-Benz Accident Research under the heading "Real Life Safety". Mercedes-Benz is systematically pursuing this strategy in the S-Class with numerous new assistance systems and greatly enhanced functions. Comfort and safety are enhanced at the same time. Mercedes-Benz calls this "Intelligent Drive". The new functions all rely on the same sensor system, comprising a new stereo camera together with multi-stage radar sensors.

"Intelligent assistance systems analyze complex situations and better recognize potential dangers out on the road with the aid of improved environment sensor systems," explains Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. "Figuratively speaking, the new S-Class doesn't just have eyes at the front; it has 360-degree all-round vision." A key factor is the networking of all systems, which safety experts call "sensor fusion". The aim is to ensure comprehensive protection, not just for the occupants of a Mercedes-Benz, but for all other road users, too.

The support functions range from relieving the burden on the driver and therefore increasing comfort, to issuing visual, acoustic and/or tactile warning signals, to boosting the driver's reactions. Some systems are even able to take corrective action in an emergency, such as autonomous application of the brakes to prevent an accident or lessen its severity. Here is a summary of the new assistance systems and those with notably enhanced functionality:

•DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot takes the burden off the driver when it comes to lane guidance and is also able to follow vehicles in traffic tailbacks semi-autonomously.

•Brake Assist system BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist can help to avoid rear-end collisions and even collisions with crossing traffic.

•Active Lane Keeping Assist can detect oncoming traffic and, when the adjacent lane is not clear, reduce the risk of the vehicle leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side.

•Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the beams' cone of light.

•Night View Assist Plus was further improved and supplemented by a thermal imaging camera. Night View Assist Plus can alert the driver to the potential danger posed by pedestrians or animals in unlit areas in front of the vehicle by automatically switching from the speedometer to a crystal-clear night view image and highlighting the sources of danger. A spotlight function is furthermore able to flash any pedestrians detected ahead. This attracts the driver's attention to the source of the danger at the same time as warning the person on the side of the road.

•ATTENTION ASSIST can warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness in an extended speed range and notify drivers of their current state of fatigue and the driving time since the last break, offers an adjustable sensitivity setting and, if a warning is emitted, indicates nearby service areas in the COMAND navigation system.

Verdict
I personally have a fond place in my heart for Mercedes vehicles, noting that I have a 1970 CE-250 coupe that lies in my garage proudly to be driven on a weekend. Frankly speaking, I was pretty impressed by the S-Class elite features that need one complete and dedicated issue to be spoken of. Although the price tag has been pushed a bit, people will still want the acclaimed "Best Car in the World". Rivals of the S-Class are the BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. The S-Class will be available in the Middle East and GCC markets by September 2013.

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